STEUBENVILLE — If Mother Nature cooperates, Steubenville City Schools hopes to unveil its new baseball and softball fields by the end of March.
Lately, it’s been a big if.
Sporting director John Arlesic said conditions from mid-December were simply obvious “brutal,” with heavy rain, followed by a heavy dose of cold, snow and ice, with more rain in the forecast.
“Unfortunately, the weather did not go as planned”, Steubenville High School principal Ted Gorman agreed. “We are looking forward to the opening day of our new stadiums, we don’t know when the opening day will be, but we hope we can stick to our schedules and not have to move any of our home games.”
The new $2.5 million Steubenville City Schools Sports Complex on Stanton Boulevard will house dugouts, a press room, restrooms, a concession stand, bleachers and parking, along with grass playgrounds. The seven-acre property overlooks Harding Stadium and the training ground.
Arlesic had said all the materials they needed to complete the job were on site, except for the turf – which is also being done, but is being stored by the company until crews are ready to go. ‘to install.
“Everything is aligned except the weather” Gorman said. “If he cooperates, we can open as planned. Otherwise, we will have to delay the opening.
Crews installed the new streetlights for both fields last week. With them in place, they will be able to run the electricity “and everything else feeds on that,” they said.
“I know our kids and coaches are excited to play in the new facility,” Gorman said. “It’s been a really long time coming. They’ve never had a home pitch, so they’re looking forward to playing on their pitch.”
Because they opted for grass, the new pitches will withstand the wear and tear of tournaments. It also means there will be fewer postponements due to weather.
“Today is baseball and softball opening day, and they (practice) indoors,” Gorman said. “If we had our new fields, both would be grass, they would be outdoors right now. It’s a beautiful day, 65 degrees – they would both be outside training. This will be the biggest difference.